Polenta + Tomato Appetizer


Polenta is a staple of Northern Italy, but has made its debut in all types of cuisine today.  It is most noted for it’s versatility and can be a great addition to your next meal! T.W.O. decided to create an appetizer for their family and let us tell you- it was a hit!!


-Fresh buffalo mozzarella
-Garlic powder
-Cayenne pepper
-Ground pepper
-Italian seasoning
-Dried basil


 First, line 2 cookie sheets with parchment paper and preheat your oven to 425°F. Next, cut your polenta into thin, circular slices. Place the polenta on a lined cookie sheet and season with garlic powder, ground pepper and a dash of cayenne pepper. Then, slice your tomatoes into thin circles and place on the other cookie sheet. Season the tomatoes with Italian seasoning, pepper and dried basil.



Put the polenta and tomato slices in the oven. T.W.O. would recommend putting the polenta slices on the top rack. After about 8 minutes, flip the polenta slices over.  Bake the polenta and tomatoes for another 8 minutes. (You might need to keep the polenta in a little longer depending on your oven.) Make sure that the polenta gets crispy.  When the polenta and tomatoes are done, place a tomato on top of the polenta and add a slice of mozzarella. Continue this process for the remaining polenta circles. Next, turn your oven to broil and place the polenta “stacks” into the oven for about 3 minutes. Make sure to keep an eye on the stacks so that they do not burn. Once the mozzarella is melted and slightly brown, take them out of the oven. It’s time to serve!!




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Zucchini Noodles


When in Rome, you eat pasta.  When cooking with T.W.O, you make zucchini noodles!  This is such an easy dish that can be transformed into a snack, a summer salad or an entrée.  The most important part of this dish is the peeler….a julienne peeler! You can find it at SUR LA TABLE or even TARGET.

Zucchini Noodles


–  4 zucchini
– 1 clove garlic, diced
– 1 lemon; juiced
– Olive oil
– Krazy Salt

After washing the vegetables, place the zucchini flat on a cutting board.  Hold with one hand the top of the zucchini that is furthest from you, while holding the zucchini peeler in the other hand. The key to creating “noodles” is to peel the zucchini using only one stroke.  From top to bottom, peel the zucchini in a straight line.  This will form your perfect “noodles”.  Continue until the zucchini is all peeled.


Place all the “noodles” in a bowl and add lemon juice, diced garlic, olive oil and Crazy Salt to your desire.  Let the noodles marinate for about 10 minutes.


Once the “noodles” have marinated, squeeze the excess juice out of the “noodles” so your meal isn’t soggy. Now comes the question….What can I do with these “noodles?”  T.W.O decided to make a summer salad.  To make this, you will need the following ingredients:

Summer Salad

– Zucchini noodles
-8 to 10 mini balls of fresh mozzarella
-1 cup cherry tomatoes, halved
– 4 Tablespoons fresh basil
-Balsamic vinegar to drizzle

Add the mozzarella, tomatoes, and basil to the noodles. Finish the dish by drizzling the noodle mixture with balsamic vinegar. Now it’s time to enjoy this tasty, light summer salad poolside!



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Fresh Tomato Bun Burger with Avocado


Love hamburgers? But don’t seem to eat them because of the carb-loaded bun? Well, we have a solution for you. Tomatoes! You will definitely not be missing that bun after you sink your teeth into that sweet, juicy tomato, complemented by that savory beef patty. This recipe is a healthy, gluten free option that works great for your next meal. Or just add a toothpick and serve as an appetizer for your next dinner party. Check out the recipe below:


-4 large tomatoes
-1 lb lean ground beef
– 1 teaspoon ground pepper
– 3 Tablespoons sriracha
– 2 Tablespoons Montreal Steak Seasoning
– 1 cup mushrooms, diced
– 1 cup bell pepper, diced
– 2 shallots, diced
– 3 cloves garlic, diced
– 1 avocado
– lettuce
– mustard (spicy, regular or dijon)
– ketchup
– mayo (optional)

In a bowl, mix the beef, ground pepper, sriracha, Montreal Steak Seasoning, mushrooms, bell peppers, shallots and garlic. Make sure all the ingredients are evenly distributed between the meat. Form 5 patties and press them out on parchment paper.


Now, let’s GRILL! You can grill the burgers on the bbq, but if you don’t have a bbq, try using a stove top grilling pan. Cook the patties to your liking. (Rare, medium rare, medium, medium well, well-done)


While the burgers are grilling, cut the tomatoes in half and scoop out the seed membrane with a spoon. Set aside. Cut the avocado in thin slices.


Once the burgers are done, place them on a paper towel to soak up the excess grease. Place the patties on the cut tomatoes and add the avocado, lettuce and your favorite burger condiments. T.W.O put a squeeze of ketchup and spicy Dijon mustard on ours!


Wine pairing suggestion: Old Vine Zinfandel

** Please note, if the tomato is too big or won’t stay on your plate cut the tops off so it creates a flat surface.